or show a gundog water, and it’ll jump in - yes - well - maybe - sometimes!

Some people feel almost “cheated” if their gundog is in the least reluctant to leap into the first water that it sees We have a total of nine dogs and bitches - and their general attitude towards swimming is almost as varied as nine humans - from “no chance” to “try and get me out” - and that seems to change with age - and the weather. The really most important thing to avoid, is to allow your puppy to have a “bad experience” - whether it be at home, or in the car - or anywhere else. A dog’s “intelligence / memory bank” is made up of life-lasting impressions gained  as a puppy. If a puppy were to have a “fright” with water, it could well end up being “water-shy” for the rest of it’s life - which would be a shame!

We introduce a puppy to water at about 14 weeks  using a childs rigid plastic paddling pool, 3/4 filled with fresh clean water, which gives it the choice of either drinking it, or trying to paddle it out of the pool. It’s great fun, and a good way to keep cool! From 14 weeks through to about 14 months, it’s a case of treating your dog like a young child ....

  • Don’t allow it to play on wet sand and heavy breaking surf - it’ll get thrown around, end up with bad hips - or drown.
  • On the beach, beware of “tar” - see first aid - and Jelly fish - see the little story at the end of choosing a vet
  • Try to find a clean, quiet lake - or pond - or stream with “easy sloping” sides.
  • If you’re happy going into the water yourself, then do your duty as pack leader and put on a pair of boots and with loads of encouragement, show it the way.
  • Throw a tennis ball - very short distance -  for it to swim out to and retrieve.
  • Don’t leave it unattended - it might get into difficulties.
  • Swimming is excellent exercise - but not too much too young.
  • Don’t forget to dry it off - particularly the ears and base of tail.

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